A wall being constructed of cob building material.



  • A corncob.
  • The seed-bearing head of a plant.
  • Short form of cobnut
  • A male swan.
  • A gull, especially the black-backed gull (Larus marinus); also spelled cobb.
  • A lump or piece of anything, usually of a somewhat large size, as of coal, or stone.
  • A round, often crusty roll or loaf of bread.
  • A building material consisting of clay, sand, straw, water, and earth, similar to adobe; also called cobb, rammed earth or pisé.
  • A horse having a stout body and short legs.
  • Any of the gold and silver coins that were minted in the Spanish Empire and valued in reales or escudos, such as the piece of eight—especially those which were crudely struck and irregularly shaped.
  • A Spanish coin formerly current in Ireland, worth about four shillings and sixpence.
  • One who is eminent, great, large, or rich.
  • A spider (cf. cobweb).
  • A small fish, the miller's thumb.
  • A large fish, especially the kabeljou (variant spelling of kob).
  • The head of a herring.
  • A tower or small castle on top of a hill.
  • A thresher.
  • A cylinder with pins in it, encoding music to be played back mechanically by a barrel organ.
  • A person of mixed black and white ancestry, especially a griffe; a mulatto.
  • A punishment consisting of blows inflicted on the buttocks with a strap or a flat piece of wood.
  • Abbreviation of cobble
  • Alternative of COB



  • Of uncertain origin. The word has many disparate senses, which are likely of diverse origin. The specifics of these origins have long been debated, as has the question of which senses arise from which origins. At least the swan sense originated in Middle English cobbe. Some other senses likely originated as a variant of cop. However, many alternative etymologies have been proposed to account for some or all senses of cob; various sources have related it, for example, to English cot ("cottage"), Welsh cob ("top, tuft"), or German Kübel ("large container"). All these etymologies are disputed, and the exact origins of cob cannot be known with any certainty.
  • Uncertain. Possibly onomatopoeic, but it has also been suggested that the word could be a continuation of Middle English cobbe ("fight"), a borrowing of Welsh cob ("blow"), or a cognate of Icelandic kubba ("chop").

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